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Ickenham's Jordanne Whiley makes history

Ickenham’s Jordanne Whiley made history on Sunday at the US Open after becoming the first British woman to win a wheelchair tennis Grand Slam singles title.

British No. 1 Whiley, playing in her first women’s singles Grand Slam final, beat defending champion and world No. 3 Yui Kamiji of Japan 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 in a match of fluctuating fortunes.

Whiley saw an early break advantage disappear in the first set, only to regroup and take the last two games to seize the initiative. Kamiji raced through the second set, but Whiley returned from a comfort break before the final set with a renewed focus and stormed into a 5-0 lead.

Whiley then had her first five match points before Kamiji pulled a game back, but another thrilling final game eventually saw the Brit clinch a famous victory on her ninth championship point.

“It really hasn't sunk in that I've done it - I'm a singles Grand Slam champion! It was so strange playing Yui as she's my best friend and we've achieved so much in doubles together but it means I know her game so well,” said Whiley, who will now go to a new career best singles world ranking on Monday after starting the US Open word ranked No.5.

“I felt bad seeing her crying at the end but that's tennis and I knew I could win it. I kept telling everyone that I could do it in singles as well and now I've finally proved it! Everything is clicking nicely ahead of Rio and now I can't wait to play at the Singles Masters in December and I want to win that too in front of a home crowd.

“I'm going to treat myself to some pizza tonight but then it's back home and I'll keep working hard and build on this success with the support of the Tennis Foundation and UK Sport.”

Ickenham Tube worker organises District Line inspired fundraiser

An Ickenham Tube worker raised thousands with a Transport for London-themed cycle ride.

Dean Brown, an advanced train maintainer on the District Line, wanted to raise money to help fund research for brain tumour cures after his friend and colleague was diagnosed.

Mr Brown said: “My colleague, Steve Lloyd, was progressively getting ill so he had to be medically retired. I organised a collection for his leaving do and we raised £6,500.

“I thought: now we've raised money for him we need to raise money for the charity, so I sat down and started thinking of ideas. I come up with a charity bike ride but making it a London theme, using the Boris bikes.

“I’ve known Steve for a number of years, he is a top guy. I came up with the idea for this event as a way we could all show him and his family how much support they have and to raise as much as we could for this very worthy cause.”

The Transport for London colleagues taking part on Santander Cycles chose the District Line, covering 74 miles and 61 stations, as this was 39-year-old Steve’s daily commute before he took retirement in January in order to spend as much time as possible with his family.

Steve’s wife Angela joined the riders for the last leg of the challenge. The couple have two daughters Bethany, 12, and Chloe, 10, and this summer they were given the news that Steve has just months to live. His aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour was first diagnosed in 2008.

Angela said: “We have been so touched by the support and good wishes we have received. This event has turned out to be much bigger than we could have wished for and we would like to thank everyone who has made a donation to this very important cause.

“We are determined to do all we can to continue to raise awareness and to help raise more funds for research. I am so angry that this horrible cancer affects so many young people yet there is so little investment.

"Where are the cures, the breakthroughs, the progress which could give us just a little precious time? Even if we can help just one person and their family it will be worthwhile.”

Mr Brown, who cycled in the event as well as organising it, had hoped to raise enough money for a week's worth of research.

It costs £2,740 for the charity, Brain Tumour Research, to research a cure for one day, so they'd hoped to hit the £10,000 mark.

Speaking on raising £20,000, Mr Brown said: “It felt amazing! It still hasn't really sunk in. Our aim was £10,000 but to surpass that is just unbelievable.”

Mr Lloyd, who is a life-long West Ham fan, waited at the finish line, at Tower Hill on Sunday August 23, was joined by full-back Carl Jenkinson to cheer the cyclists home.

Carl said: “I first met Steve and his beautiful family at the game on Saturday. Since hearing his story I am determined to do all I can to support Brain Tumour Research and I feel privileged to be part of this great event.”

Funds are still coming in and £20,000 has already been raised. The money will help to fund vital research at four Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence including one at Queen Mary University of London. Scientists there are investigating how GBM brain tumours like Steve’s develop in order to achieve better outcomes for patients.

Hugh Adams, head of external affairs at Brain Tumour Research, said: “This has been such a great and innovative way of fundraising and a testament to Steve that so many people have felt moved to make donations and that his colleagues have worked so hard to make this happen.”

Text DLCC15 £3 to 70070 to donate £3 to fund vital brain tumour research or visit the fundraising page.

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